A Jewish heritage mural covering the wall of the 232 East Broadway office building was unexpectedly painted over on Monday morning, upsetting Lower East Side residents who saw the mural as a symbol of the community.
The mural, which had been painted in 1973 by local teenagers and professional artists working with the group CITYArts, featured six different Jewish themes, including the Holocaust and immigration through Ellis Island.
Investor Rob Kaliner of Ascend Group, which recently purchased the property, told the New York Post that the building would be demolished anyway to make room for new apartment buildings and the whitewashing “was purely done for safety reasons,” since he noticed that there were large chunks of paint falling off.
His comments were not reassuring to neighborhood residents who pointed out that they had not even been informed of plans to paint over the mural.
“The community was not aware this was happening this morning,” Sara Krivisky, one of the people who had helped paint the mural back in 1973 told the New York Post. “The way it was done is very disrespectful to the history and the heritage of the community.”
Krivisky, whose parents are Holocaust survivors, is hoping to create another mural with new Jewish themes with her son Josh to celebrate the neighborhood’s Jewish heritage.